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Airbus UK Broughton: Andy Preece’s Wingmakers grow in confidence despite injury problems

STETCHED to the limit, Airbus UK Broughton nevertheless kept themselves in the hunt for the Welsh Premier League Cup with a 2-1 first-leg defeat at The New Saints on Tuesday night.

But it came at a cost as boss Andy Preece is likely to be without Tommy Holmes and Mark Cadwallader for Saturday’s trip to Carmarthen Town.

Airbus travelled to TNS already missing Glenn Rule and Gavin Cadwallader who were injured in the Wingmakers’ 4-0 victory at Newtown in the Welsh Premier last Friday.

Nev Thompson, Mike Hayes, James Connelly and Jon Bathurst scored in that game to make it two wins out of three for Preece and confidence is growing at the Airfield.

So much so that even without their captain Rule, Airbus were confident going into their league cup quarter-final against second-placed TNS – who fielded a handful of younger players.

But five minutes in Preece lost another defender, former TNS man Holmes, to a hamstring injury and on 14 minutes Mark Cadwallader was also forced off with an injury.

The hosts took the lead through Christian Sargeant on 28 minutes.

The Wingmakers dug in and on the hour Mark Danks levelled the score with a low drive from 18-yards out.

Airbus looked good to go back to the Airfield with a draw but with five minutes remaining, Phil Baker gave TNS a slender advantage going into the second leg on February 28.

Before then Airbus have two games against Carmarthen Town, away in the Welsh Premier this Saturday, before the Old Gold come to Broughton in the Welsh Cup quarter final seven days later.

“It is unlikely Tommy or Mark will make it this Saturday,” said Preece. “Tommy’s injury looked worse than Mark’s but I don’t think either will be fit in time for Carmarthen.

“I’m really proud of the lads for their performance. We went there two men down and within minutes we were effectively missing four players but the lads stepped up and took the game to TNS and we are still in the tie.”

Preece admitted his squad was stretched but said his players needed to go all-out to achieve their goals this season.

“We have to finish seventh and we want to win the Welsh Cup so we can’t hold anything back against Carmarthen,” he said.

“Confidence does compensate for injuries and we are stretched, but there is a positive feeling throughout the squad and I believe if we work hard we can win both games.”

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